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 Forum index » Reviews, Editorials and Commentary » Commentary and Editorials
Goodbye New Orleans
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jamos



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:09 pm    Post subject: Goodbye New Orleans Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band
For the past week my head has been filled with fragments of old Dixieland music.. Basin Street Blues, Mississippi Mud, other tunes whose names I can't remember. So tonight I gave in to temptation and pulled out some old vinyl to listen to... my god.

I don't know if everyone here knows what we've lost. New Orleans is where it all started; where jazz was born. And jazz gave us rock, and rock gave us most of the forms of electronic music we listen to today. Yes, we lost Bob Moog last month, but Bob was a man, and we expect men to die.. but New Orleans was a city, an irreplaceable cultural treasure; its loss is by far the greater.

If you've never had a chance to listen to any Dixieland - either great New Orleans stuff, or even the Disneyland variety, you should take the time to track some down and give it a listen. It's the happiest, most uplifting music you'll ever hear; even the sad bluesy tunes are filled with life and hope. The songs tend to have rigid structure, mostly based on a 12-bar blues pattern, but with incredible opportunity for the performers to take wing, either with little ornaments around the melody or with extended solos. And then there are those magical moments when all of the lead instruments are improvising.. trumpet, clarinet and trombone, each playing their own parts, straight from the heart - yet, by virtue of their own unique timbres and capabilities, never stepping on each other's toes. Something we synthesists have a tough time doing when we play together...

When I was in high school, I had the geat fortune to play in a dixieland band, and I can say without any hesitation that that is where my love of music was born. God, how I miss that; I've never had a more potent music experince than playing solo trumpet in front of that group. We were a small high school, and didn't have enough students to field a complete jazz band, so our band instructor found a set of Dixieland books and set us to playing that. We had no trombone players, so he played 'bone; we had an electric bass and guitar instead of tuba and banjo, but shit, we rocked ;'). When we played at the Alaska Jazz Festival in 1976, all the jazz students from the big city (Anchorage) schools chuckled when we went on stage, but they didn't laugh much when we played. (You can't listen to Dixieland without smiling, though...)

And now New Orleans is gone... all because of shortsightedness, neglect, cronyism, and greed. Georgie Boy chuckles because he used to party there.. but he's too fucking culturally illiterate to understand what we've lost. But unlike others, I don't place the blame entirely on him.. no, its the fault of this entire anti-tax, "I've got mine so to hell with you" attitude that has been the driving force in politics for the past two decades. Ronald Reagan, Grover Norquist, Paul Wolfowitz.... they're all to blame. By gutting FEMA, by not funding the levee repairs, instead cutting taxes for the rich (and don't even get me STARTED on Iraq) they guaranteed that this would eventually happen.

Goodbye New Orleans. All beauty is transitory, and your time is passed. You left an indelible mark on American culture and world music, and maybe, with a little luck, your death will awaken America from its stupor and help us to change direction before we sink into oblivion.
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2005 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well, I have my fingers crossed, and hope for a Newer Orleans.

Really. Something safer for those who reside there, and a bithplace of pioneers willing to create a new city from ashes.

I'm doubtful though, as I believe if the city is rebuilt, it will be populated with chain food restaurants, Texas malls, and california wharehouse commercialism. The typical "same in every city" concrete jungle of bland architecture.

But, I still think that catastrophes can bring art to very high levels. Especially when there are many survivors to tell their many stories. Well, if FEMA lets them survive.
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dmosc



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

no offense, but nothing brings people togeather like tragedy. Now, you're not from so and so street, or the east part of town, or the outskirts. All of you have now seen you bleed the same shade of red. As much regret as I feel for the individuals, I think the concept of new orliens will only be strengthened by this event. Let me ask you, next year, do you think the saints WON'T sell out before the season starts? Hardly. Yes, I agree the floorplans and city streets will be more modernized and boring. The buildings will be built from cinderblocks instead of history, but the spirit in the people will show the real strength stronger than ever.

Just take a look at New York.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for taking the time to write that excellent article, Jamos. There is a lot to consider. I love Dixieland too. I used to hear a lot of it in San Fransisco at a place called Earquake McGoons. Keep your chin up, a New Orleans funeral is based on a jazz band. The music isn't dead, it was born in New Orleans but it lives everywhere.

Its just a matter of time before these kinds of things happens. This is very tragic, expecially because most of the suffering and distruction could have been prevented. Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Seatle, and others are lineing up.

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elektro80
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Tsunamis More Likely to Hit U.S. Than Asia

Landslides caused by volcanic action are believed to be rare. However, we already know that the Mt. St. Helens eruption caused the biggest landslide ever -taking out one section of the volcano and this then caused a pyroclastic cloud. If this had happened under water on say the Azores or the Canary Islands... Shocked

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2001-08/ucl-mtd082301.php
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/08/040815234801.htm

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Perhaps a obvious sugestion, but there's this realy beautifull version of "do you know what it means to miss New Oreleans" by Billy Holliday and Louis Armstrong from '52 that I'm personally very fond of.
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jd



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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 6:50 pm    Post subject: Not Dead Yet
Subject description: Please at least update this.
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Thanks for a well written post. You obviously care out New Orleans, but I am afraid you are doing us a disservice by not updating this article.

New Orleans is NOT gone. It's a complete and total mess rest assured but we are NOT DEAD YET. I live in New Orleans. I stayed though Katrina and then spent the next month as a refugee. But I am back. As are many many others. Yes there has been a diaspora like the US has never seen. Yes huge portions of the city are uninhabitable and yes some of Americas cultural treasures are in grave danger. But DO NOT count us out yet.

You do not serve the citizens of New Orleans well by burying us before our time. We just had a successful primary for Mayor, a difficult, painful election. We have had a successful Mardi Gras (and Christmas, and Thanksgiving.)

Last week I saw Winton Marsalis premiere an important new work in Congo Square. Sunday I saw a brass band, The Pin-Stripe Brass Band, that I had never seen before tear down the house at Jazz fest along with brilliant shows by Big Sam's Funky Nation, The Rebirth Brass Band, and the Meters.

The situation is very, very grave here. Every day is a struggle. We NEED the nations help and understanding now more than ever. What we do not need is an obituary when we are still in the middle of the fight for our lives

jd
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

welcome JD, great to have you here.

Glad to hear you are back and that music and life are returning to New Orleans. Thanks for updating us.

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Mohoyoho



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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

great response
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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Cool post, JD.

I didn't think anything could keep N.O down. I only spend two days in your fair city but I got the impression it was fiercely self sufficient in a odd way. For one thing you guys have food with actual ingredients in it.

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jamos



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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2006 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi JD;

Glad you liked the essay, and sorry it offended you :') Strange thing to be saying, but I think that sums it up.

I've been reading a bit about the recovery over the past few months, but I don't have any first hand knowledge of it. If you'd like to right some additional material about the recovery I'd be glad to append it to the message, crediting you of course.
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renderful



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Not Dead Yet
Subject description: Please at least update this.
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jd wrote:
Thanks for a well written post. You obviously care out New Orleans, but I am afraid you are doing us a disservice by not updating this article.

New Orleans is NOT gone. It's a complete and total mess rest assured but we are NOT DEAD YET. I live in New Orleans. I stayed though Katrina and then spent the next month as a refugee. But I am back. As are many many others. Yes there has been a diaspora like the US has never seen. Yes huge portions of the city are uninhabitable and yes some of Americas cultural treasures are in grave danger. But DO NOT count us out yet.

You do not serve the citizens of New Orleans well by burying us before our time. We just had a successful primary for Mayor, a difficult, painful election. We have had a successful Mardi Gras (and Christmas, and Thanksgiving.)

Last week I saw Winton Marsalis premiere an important new work in Congo Square. Sunday I saw a brass band, The Pin-Stripe Brass Band, that I had never seen before tear down the house at Jazz fest along with brilliant shows by Big Sam's Funky Nation, The Rebirth Brass Band, and the Meters.

The situation is very, very grave here. Every day is a struggle. We NEED the nations help and understanding now more than ever. What we do not need is an obituary when we are still in the middle of the fight for our lives

jd



I'm so very glad that another New Orleanian came here to say this. I was honestly a bit offended by the article. When I'm out of town, I constantly mention New Orleans to people and they says "I wish I could have gone", like it's OVER or something.

Goodbye New Orleans? Where did it go? It is still in full force. I know many working musicians, and there is a new hope and push layered on top of years upon years of history among the music community. You can catch groundbreaking music, ANY night in New Orleans. Electronic, Jazz, Rock, anything you could want.

New Orleans spirit is far too strong to have a measly natural disaster kill it.

Go there, experience it. You'll see for yourself that it has something that can STILL not be found anywhere else in the world.
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